GEP3 to Return Additional 1m Girls to School by 2020 in 6 Northern States

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kano

Additional one million girls are expected to return to school by 2020 in the six states implementing the Girls Education Project phase three (GEP3), in the Northern part of Nigeria, official has said.

Northern Nigeria has the highest out of school children in Nigeria with girls mostly affected with about 40.7% in primary and 37.3% in secondary schools.

The GEP3 currently being implemented in six states of Bauchi, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), funded by the UK Department for International Development, is aimed at getting more girls to complete basic education.

The project also aims to increase parental demand for, and support to, girls’ education: write a conditional cash transfer strategy for design and scale-up of scheme. Establish clearer attribution of enrolment increases via analysis of School-Based Management committee monitoring tool data, amongst others.

In his presentation at a two-day Media Dialogue on Schools Based Management Committee (SBMC), organized by Federal Ministry of Information with support from UNICEF, Mr. Sheyin Richard, UNICEF Coordinator, GEP3 for Kano State, disclosed that over million additional girls are expected to return to school by 2020 through the programme.

He said the project also expected to reach 1.6 million girls with improved teaching and girl-friendly learning environments. 42,000 primary and Integrated Quranic Centres (IQS) teachers trained and mentored in child centred pedagogy.

Mr. Sheyin added that 15,300 head teachers will be trained in school effectiveness, efficiency and
Curriculum management. While 1.9 million boys approximately are also expected to benefit from GEP3’s investments through improvements to teacher quality and school governance.

He said though over one million had returned to school since inception of the project in 2017, but that the additional one million is what is expected in the next few months.

The Media Dialogue according to organizer was met to showcase project activities and key achievements of the project,create donor visibility and provide journalists with factual content on SBMC.

Speaking on challenges of basic education in Nigeria, Muntaka Muktar, Education Specialist, UNICEF Kano Field Office, identified socio cultural issues like; child marriage, rejection of western education by some families.

Others are exclusion of children with special needs, peer pressure, child labour, residence location to schools household poverty, pursuit of material wealths by youth and non employment opportunities for school leavers, amongst others

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